What are the differences between this art and other forms of visual art?
What It Isn't. It uses no photography or paint in any form. It does not use any of the software of Adobe or its competitors. Nothing is placed or drawn with a mouse.
Algorithmic. This means that all elements in the image are computed by rules created by the artist. The art lies in the creation of the rules. The numerical rules are the "brushwork" of this art form. The complexity of the computer code ranges from about 500 to 5000 "instructions". The languages used are Basic and C.
Vector Graphics. In vector graphics all "things" are uniformly-colored shapes. This differs from the bit graphics used in Photoshop, etc. The colors are chosen from the 16+ million colors in RGB color space.
Stylized Shapes. The shapes of flowers, trees, etc. are not hand-drawn but are computed. The shapes are made simple and suggestive, but no claim of "photo-realism" is made. The work of printmakers, which has similar constraints (few colors, geometric shapes), often uses stylized shapes. The impressionists used brushstrokes to convey the idea of an object without intimate details. Colored regions and lines are used in the same way here.
Random Variations. It is easy to program a computer to make repeated shapes, etc. The result can be boring. What is different here is that no two shapes are quite the same. They are varied by using random numbers to specify part of the position, shape, and color. In this way most of the "mechanical" look is avoided -- each flower or tree is an individual. This is the main reason why I must use a general-purpose computer language. The otherwise-admirable software of Adobe et alia does not make any provision for this form of randomness. Often in the development process a suggestive shape is created first, and then randomness is progressively added until a group of them lose the "mechanical" look.
Level of Detail. A computer is a tireless agent for drawing things. Many images have hundreds of thousands or even millions of distinct objects in them. The printed file commonly contains 50+ Megapixels of data. Even photographs achieve this level of detail only infrequently. Inkjet printers can easily print all of this detail in a 16x24 or 20x30 inch picture. At short distances one can see every tree or every leaf. At larger distances they blend into a "texture". The compressed images used on the internet give only a pale imitation of the level of detail in the printed works.
Features at All Size Scales. An effort is made to have features at every length scale. Ideally one will see the coarse features at 20 ft and progressively more detail at shorter distances all the way down to a few inches away.